Whether you use your home’s basement as a rec room, a spare bedroom, or just a place to store your extra stuff – you have a vested interest in preventing mold. Not only is mold unsightly, but contamination that starts on the lower level of your home could quickly spread.
Even if the mold remains in the basement and does not spread, the contaminated air will make its way into every room in your home. Those toxic air particles could trigger asthma attacks, make existing breathing problems worse, and leave you with a never-ending line of colds and respiratory infections.
The good news is that controlling mold in your basement is not as difficult as you might think, and once it is done, you can enjoy your home more and worry less. You may even decide to turn that unused space into an awesome bar or amazing man cave. Here are 10 ways to control the growth of mold in your basement.
1. Look for leaks
Mold loves moisture, and water leaks in the basement will give in what it needs to grow. Look for and repair leaks to prevent mold from getting a foothold.
2. Channel water away from your home
If you have not already done so, look for ways to send water away from your home after a heavy rain. The less moisture that reaches your basement and foundation, the better.
3. Increase airflow through the home
Keeping the air moving can keep mold from getting the upper hand, so invest in some exhaust fans and other air moving appliances.
4. Keep a spill response kit handy
The faster you remove moisture, the better, so keep a basic spill response kit handy. Know where the paper towels and other supplies are, and wipe up spills as soon as they occur.
5. Paint the walls with a mold-killing primer
Studies have shown that mold is present in most commercial drywall; all it needs is a chance to grow. Adding a mold-killing primer to your walls can stop those moldy breakouts before they start.
6. Take your damp laundry upstairs
Even if your laundry room is located in the basement, take your finished laundry upstairs to dry. The excess moisture from drying clothes could give dormant mold the dampness it needs to grow.
7. Monitor humidity levels
Mold thrives in high humidity, so know where you stand. Average basement humidity is anywhere from 30% to 50% — anything above that average could make mold problems more likely.
8. Remove excess moisture with a dehumidifier
If you detect excess moisture in the basement, remove it with a dehumidifier. Look for a model that includes a humidity gauge.
9. Stick to artificial plants in the basement
If you have a finished basement, decorate it with artificial plants. The moisture and respiration from real plants could make mold growth more likely.
10. Add insulation to your pipes
Sweating pipes will add moisture to the air, encouraging the growth of mold. Insulating the pipes is good for mold prevention – and energy efficiency.
Mold in the basement is an unsightly problem, but it can be a dangerous one as well. Many mold species are highly toxic, and even innocuous varieties could trigger respiratory issues in vulnerable individuals. No matter how you use your basement, mold control is important for your health and the health of your home.